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Top 10 Upwork Alternatives & Competitors: Best Similar Freelance Platforms

by Arthur Zuckerman

Freelance work is not a new trend, but it has grown more prominent over the years, especially with more and more professionals choosing to work independently and on their own terms. These days, platforms like Upwork host millions of freelancers, and businesses are taking advantage of the benefits of hiring skilled professionals without long-term employment contracts. For companies that prefer contract labor over hiring full-time employees, Upwork is one of the popular and reliable sources.

What Is Upwork?

Upwork provides freelancers with a great platform to get noticed by legitimate companies on the lookout for either one-time, short-term, or even long-term freelance workers. With a large pool of qualified professionals, Upwork becomes a popular and competitive community. Upwork, however, is not the only great place to find talented freelance workers, and we have 9 more freelance platforms on the list. 

1. 99Designs

99Designs is a freelance platform for graphic artists from all over the world. You can either work directly with an artist of your choice or run a contest where participating artists can submit their creative works based on your requirements (if any). Whoever wins gets the job, or you can buy the design, depending on the agreement with the artist. You can also choose from the designs that are already available on the platform.

99designs

99Designs lets you sort design contests by category, industry, or date.

2. Credo

Credo is where you can find only vetted and verified digital marketing professionals, SEO specialists, and PPC experts. Considering the level of expertise of freelancers on this platform, it is safe to say that the pay is higher compared to the asking price for the work of other freelance digital marketing providers in Upwork.

3. Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is home to more than 32 million freelancers specializing in different fields (i.e., technical, creative, academic, etc.) When it comes to the freelancer population, Freelancer.com has more than what Upwork can offer, but other aspects, they are almost the same. 

Having a lot more options, however, isn’t always better. Between Freelancer.com and Upwork, the latter has more professionals that offer their services at more affordable prices, which some businesses will find to be more cost-effective. But if the cost of service is not an issue and you are after the best you can pick (i.e., the best graphic design, etc.), you can do this by running a design contest at Freelancer.com.

4. Fiverr

Fiverr is a freelance platform that has the most affordable rates among the Upwork alternatives on the list. For as low as $5, you can hire a graphic designer or other freelancers specializing in various fields, including animation, podcast editing, and more. The cost of service, however, sometimes reflects on the quality of work. So, if you are after good quality service with enough budget, Upwork is still a better option. 

fiverr

Fiverr has a cool factor added to its interface.

5. Guru

Guru has more than 3 million registered freelancers with skills ranging from programmers, writers, translators, graphic designers, engineers, virtual assistants, and many others. Like Upwork, payment can either be project-based or hourly. But compared to Upwork, Guru has less number of freelancers. Also, Upwork has more affordable freelance services offered.

6. Hubstaff Talent

Hubstaff Talent is one of the Upwork alternatives where you can post a job for free–no need to pay any fee, zero markups, and no middlemen. Businesses can hire freelancers directly and pay them directly as well. Hubstaff Talent has less than 90,000 freelancers who specialize in different fields, such as business consulting, information technology, multimedia and design, web development, writing, and more. Compared to Upwork, however, Hubstaff Talent is fairly new, which may not work in its favor, especially when companies prefer a more established platform.

7. Toptal

Toptal has the most competitive environment among freelance platforms today. This is where you can hire the top 3% of freelancers from all over the world. As a freelance platform that values its exclusivity, Toptal expects companies that can afford the more expensive price tag on the services provided by their freelance professionals whom companies can hire individually or as part of a “dream team.” 

8. Workhoppers

Workhoppers is a freelance platform that connects you to freelance professionals that match your requirements with the help of its AI-matching algorithm. Job posting on this platform is also free, and you can pay a freelancer directly either by project or hourly. Workhoppers prioritize local freelancers, which can be limiting, especially when compared to Upwork’s global community.

9. YouTeam

YouTeam is the only team-based Upwork alternative on the list. This platform is exclusive to vetted professionals that form highly competent teams of software developers and engineers. Aside from developers and engineers, you can also hire project managers and consultants as part of the team.

10. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is another freelancer market boasting a huge roster of experts in their particular fields. It connects professionals to businesses and vice versa. With its global reach, businesses can connect to professionals who can work during preferred hours. It is touted that there are more than 900,000 businesses and more 2.3 million freelancers registered today. 

The PeoplePerHour interface is really easy to use. This is both true when it comes to both its web application and its mobile apps. Key features include communication tools, fixed price freelancers, local freelance directory, escrow protection, and project progress tracking among others. Moreover, it has a no-cost job posting. 

Additionally, it has a module for invoices as well. Plus, there is a seller rating to ensure that you get the best deals on the market. Lastly, it integrates seamlessly with many payment gateway services including Alipay, TrustPay, GiroPay, PayPal, and Skrill among others.

What’s the best Upwork Alternative?

Well, there are rivals to Upwork and you’ve seen the top ones here. However, you can’t really consider them as true alternatives in the sense that you would shift to them and not use Upwork anymore. Its because when scouting for freelance talent worldwide, it’s best to have more choices. Thus, we recommend that you treat these marketplaces as an ensemble of talent pools.

Furthermore, many of them have specialties. Take for instance 99design. It is mostly for graphics artists. YouTeam is the only team-based freelancer platform. So, there is really no one-to-one feature comparison between them and Upwork. Hence, you can’t really consider them as true alternatives. We think that the best approach is to consider them as talent pool supplements.  For more useful tips on getting clients as a freelancer, consider checking this guide.

Using Digital Tools to Manage Outsourced Talents

Also, many of these marketplaces have their own productivity modules. However, you should check out digital solutions like time tracking software, which can integrate with these platforms. This is most useful when you have both on-premise employees and outsourced project-based personnel. These can be a part of comprehensive digital HR software or they can be standalone products. This will help you have an overview of all your HR processes in just one dashboard.

Lastly, we also recommend that you check out task management software, which have built-in productivity monitoring features that these marketplaces offer. Also, ask whether you can integrate them with what you use for your on-premise projects.

We hope that we helped you find more marketplaces to supplement Upwork. Just remember, when using many of them, you’d need tools to integrate your project management processes across these platforms plus your on-premise projects. So, we hope you’ll find more solutions here that can fit your business needs.

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